After a long and cold winter, the warm weather has returned once again, turning Boulder into a lush summer environment. You owe it to yourself to gaze upon the beautiful landscape around Boulder, and the best way to do that is to start exploring some trails.

Marshall Mesa Loop

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via Protrails.com

Marshall Mesa Loop is a great hiking trail to start with. It’s an easy hike, only 3.3 miles, and it gives you a brilliant view of the Flatirons. This is the kind of trail that you would see on a postcard and say, “Wow, this looks like a pretty cool place, I would probably enjoy walking around there.” This is also a dog-friendly trail, so your four-legged companion can also join you on your outing here. The trail also has seen its fair share of mule deer, coyotes, and raptors, so be on the lookout for wildlife! This trailhead can be found at 5258 Eldorado Springs Drive.

Viewpoint Trail to Flagstaff Mountain Hike

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via the funwithgravity.blogspot

Viewpoint trail leads hikers to one of Boulder’s best lookout points on Flagstaff Mountain. It is a mildly strenuous trail that mixes beautiful forest areas with spectacular views of the city. The best part about this 2.2-mile trail is the fact that, if you’re hungry when you reach the top, you can get a high-class lunch or dinner. Boulder’s Flagstaff House offers a first-class dining experience with a view. How many times can you say you’ve enjoyed a pan-roasted filet mignon at the top of a mountain? If a fancy steak isn’t your cup of tea, however, there are also picnic tables scattered around the Flagstaff summit area that are perfect for a picnic. The beginning of the trail can be found on View Point Road, nearby Eben G. Fine Park. 

Eldorado Canyon

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via thetrailgirl.com

Eldorado Canyon may not be made of gold like the mythic city of El Dorado, but it does has some pretty cool rocks. In all seriousness, however, this area has some incredible rock formations that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. The rocks are so awesome, in fact, that rock climbers can’t keep their hands off them! This area is a very popular technical climbing spot and you will probably see an abundance of rock climbers scrambling up the cliff faces during your visit. The round-trip hike through Eldorado is 8.5 miles and it’s a moderately strenuous hike, and it is also worth noting that there is an $8 entrance fee to the park. This trailhead can be found in Eldorado Canyon State Park, which can be found by taking Colorado 170 off of Colorado 93.

Bear Peak

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via funwithgravity.blogspot

Remember when I said Flagstaff Mountain had some of the best views of Boulder? Well, Bear Peak has hands-down the best views of Boulder County. When you reach the peak, you will get an incredible view of the entire Front Range area. The view from the top of Bear Peak might change your life. This view will leave you breathless; partially due to the strenuous hike, and partially due to the existential epiphany you’ll probably have when you get a glimpse of this vista. The trail itself weaves through the forest and takes you through some very scenic areas, but it is also one that is fairly long and strenuous. There are many starting points for this hike, but one of my personal favorite routes starts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research—“NCAR,” for short. This trail is just under 7 miles round-trip and the trailhead can be found at NCAR, or 1850 Table Mesa Drive.